LAMENTATIONS 3:1-66 | HEBREWS 1:1-14 | PSALM 102:1-28 | PROVERBS 26:21-22
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Jeremiah’s lamentations for his people and his beloved city of Jerusalem continue. But just when it seems that he is utterly inconsolable, Jeremiah shifts gears, and we see a silver lining to the dark cloud. He says:
19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope.
And with these lines, Jeremiah restores his faith in the Lord, and utters some of the most memorable lines of this book:
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.
Jeremiah goes on to offer words of hope in these lines as well:
31 For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.
We turn now to our New Testament reading, and find ourselves starting a new book titled Hebrews, the author of which is unknown, although it is commonly ascribed to Paul.
The author starts out this book, which appears to have a Jewish-Christian audience, by addressing the person of Christ as being superior to all prophets and angels.
God, in his inconceivable prescience, has so ordained it that we mere mortals are the beneficiaries of the plan of salvation through the person and the office of Christ Jesus. It is not the angels who are fortunate to be awarded this great gift—it is the fall of man that necessitated this alternate plan of salvation that hinges on pure faith and grace. We have nothing to envy the angels about.
The writer says: 14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
Having so established the superiority of Christ over the prophets, likewise, the writer alludes to the superiority of the New Covenant of which Christ is the mediator between God and man, over the Old Covenant between God and the children of Israel.
Next, we turn to our reading of the Psalms, and find one in which the psalmist is most dejected and yet, in all humility, he acknowledges the omnipotence of the Almighty in these words even as he says:
“Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days;
your years go on through all generations.
25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
and they will be discarded.
27 But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.
28 The children of your servants will live in your presence;
their descendants will be established before you.”
Finally, a couple of verses from the book of Proverbs, in which Solomon, wise king of Israel, speaks to the evils of a quarrelsome person and a gossip. He says:
21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.